Dave Clark

Dave died on Tuesday, October 12th 1999
He was drummer emeritus with The Westbrook Drum Corps and founder of the Westbrook Muster in 1959. While president of the Westbrook Drum Corps in 1965, it joined with six other area corps to form the nucleus of the newly-formed Company of Fifers and Drummers. He will be sadly missed by all his drum corps friends.

On Monday, November 1, 1999, at 6:30 p.m., a Memorial Service was held on the Muster Field at Westbrook attended by Dave's family members and numerous friends (Including Hayden Fuller, who came out from Kentucky to pay his respects)....

The Westbrook Drum Corps assembled on the field for the ceremony.

Dave's daughter, niece, and nephew brought Dave's snare drum out onto the field and placed it to the right of Paul Lewis, Drum Sergeant, while Bob Castillo and Roger Clark played on their muffled drums. The Westbrook Drum Corps then played one of Dave's favorite tunes, Onward Christian Soldiers, while his daughter, Terry, spread his ashes onto the field... That concluded the formal program. Individuals then gathered and played some more tunes known to be favored by Dave. Friends and family then adjourned to the American Legion Hall at Saybrook to share remembrances of Dave's life.

An Open Letter to Dave Clark from Bob Castillo

(Read on the field during the service)

Thanks Dave.

Everyone of us who has been coming down to this field every 4th Saturday, of every August, owes you BIGTIME for launching this great annual event, we have come to know as The Westbrook Muster.

I owe you special "Thanks", for patiently, showing me the STYLE and FORM to employ with the traditional beatings used in the art of ancient drumming.

I recall our first meeting when I was wearing a green kilt and playing on a little Premier snare drum... You and Hayden Fuller were playing on the "long drums" at a VFW we had drifted into at the end of a HOT, SWEATY New London Parade. The Westbrook Drum Corp started jamming. I knew the beatings for Grandfather's Clock and Old Dan Tucker, thanks to some really GOOD instruction when I was a kid down in Florida at the hands of Bill Hammond. But, then you guys started a tune that I liked very much but had never heard of ... "Old Saybrook". You and Hayden taught me to play it right there on the spot.

Not too much time went by before I had joined the corps, and began to realize just how powerful ancient drumming could be... I marched many a mile at your left elbow, and a better role model would hard to imagine. I have to tell you though, it was not long before I discovered your scheme to drive me nuts with your constant HUMMING of the tunes... Anyone who ever marched withing twelve FEET of you was aware of the vocalizing coming from the right front corner of the drum section... It carried well enough to completely cancel out any sound the first row of fifers in front of you may have been trying to produce!

You taught me an awful lot about the ancient style of drumming. You also taught a lot about leadership. Your style landing somewhere between "The Great Dictator" and "Fred Flintstone". Never won an arguement with you that I can recall. (And neither did anyone else!)

Bon Voyage, my friend! In my mind, this muster field will be linked with many a good memory of you and all you stood for. I am glad I knew you and could be counted as your friend.

Begin,Obituary Submitted to the Ancient Times, written by Lee Zuidema of the Westbrook Drum Corps:

David W. Clark 74, Snare Drummer with the Westbrook Drum Corps and the Westbrook Patriots, died October 13, 1999 at the Gladeview Health Care Center in Old Saybrook. In 1959, Dave started the first muster held in the town of Westbrook. Since that date, he has seen the Westbrook Muster grow to be one of the largest Fife & Drums musters in the world. August 28th, Dave was escorted onto the muster field to play again with the Westbrook Drum Corps on the fortieth anniversary of his founding of the Westbrook Muster.

In 1970, Dave organized the Westbrook Patriots, along with his brother, Richard, snare drummer, Hayden Fuller, and Fred Fuller on the Bass Drum. Later Dave rejoined the Westbrook Drum Corps until such time as he was unable to march. Even then, you would see Dave almost anyplace the fifes & drums were playing. Every year, he was in Concord, Mass. on Patriots Day. Dave attended all Drum Corps Musters, with his drum, that he could possibly attend. Dave's final appearance in the Drum Corps World was on Jaybird's Day, October 2, 1999.

Dave, also, was instrumental in the forming of the Company of Fifers & Drummers. He attended the first meetings that began the discussions that eventually led to the formation of The Company of Fifers & Drummers.

Dave lived in Westbrook and Connecticut's Middlesex County all of his life. He is survived by a daughter, Terry Lee Clark; a son, David Warren Clark, Jr.; a grandson, Dyllan Francis Clark; and a brother, Richard Clark.

Dave will be remembered by all his friends in the Drum Corps World, and by all the members of the Westbrook Drum Corps.


Page Created and Maintained by Bob Castillo
Midi file, "Amazing Grace", sequenced by Barry Taylor.